Beijing invites US bankers to discuss ties

BEIJING • China has invited the United States' top bankers to a quickly arranged gathering in Beijing to discuss relations between the two countries, as US President Donald Trump threatens punitive tariffs on all Chinese exports to America, the Financial Times reported.

Chinese Communist Party officials asked the heads of Wall Street's leading financial institutions to a Sept 16 event that will include a "China-US Financial Roundtable" and a meeting with Chinese Vice-President Wang Qishan, the FT said. Chinese officials hope the group could meet every six months and advise Beijing on financial and economic reforms, according to the report.

The new group would be headed by former People's Bank of China (PBOC) governor Zhou Xiaochuan and Mr John Thornton, chairman of mining group Barrick Gold Corp, the FT said.

The executives were invited by Mr Fang Xinghai, a vice-chairman at China's securities regulator, who has led Beijing's efforts to avoid a full-blown trade war with Mr Trump.

The invited executives include former US treasury secretary Henry Paulson; Blackstone Group chairman Stephen Schwarzman; the heads of Citigroup, Goldman Sachs Group, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. Chinese representatives are set to include Mr Yi Gang, Mr Zhou's successor at the PBOC; banking and insurance regulator Guo Shuqing; and Mr Liao Min, a finance vice-minister.

It's unclear who will attend, since the event was thrown together at short notice, the FT said. Confirmed are Blackstone president Jon Gray and Goldman investment banking co-head John Waldron. Mr Paulson will not attend, according to the report.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 11, 2018, with the headline 'Beijing invites US bankers to discuss ties'. Print Edition | Subscribe